Public Vulnerability Reports

IBM AIX capture Terminal Control Sequence Buffer Overflow Vulnerability



The capture program is a setuid root application, installed by default under multiple versions of IBM AIX, that allows terminal sessions to be dumped to a file. More information can be found at the following URL.


Local exploitation of a stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability in the 'capture' program included with IBM Corp.'s AIX operating system allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code with root privileges.

The vulnerability exists within the code that parses terminal control sequences. A long series of control sequences will trigger an exploitable stack-based buffer overflow.


Exploitation of this vulnerability results in the execution of arbitrary code with root privileges.

The capture program is setuid root, and executable by any user with local access. The vulnerability is a stack-based buffer overflow, and is trivially exploitable.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in AIX version 5.3 with service pack 6. Previous versions may also be affected.


Removing the setuid bit from the binary will prevent exploitation, but may make the program unusable by non-root users.


IBM Corp. has addressed this vulnerability by releasing interim fixes. More information can be found via the Bulletins tab of IBM's Subscription Service for UNIX and Linux servers. You can reach this service by clicking the URL shown below.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2007-3333 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


06/05/2007 Initial vendor notification
06/08/2007 Initial vendor response
07/26/2007 Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright © 2007 Verisign, Inc.

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